REVEALED: How Oslo will crackdown on electric scooters 

The city council in Oslo will slash the number of electric scooters significantly and introduce rules on when and where users can use the devices. 

REVEALED: How Oslo will crackdown on electric scooters 
New rules could see a lot less scooters on the streets of Oslo. Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

On Tuesday, Oslo City Council was set to announce a number of new rules and regulations on electric scooters in the capital following a surge in accidents, VG has reported

Oslo has more electric scooters per inhabitant than any other city in the world, according to Richard Kongsteien, the communication director of the Agency for Urban Environment in Oslo municipality. 

The city has 200 scooters per 10,000 residents. Stockholm for comparison has 125, while Berlin, Paris and Rome were below 50. By the end of the summer, there will be roughly 30,000 electric scooters in Oslo available for rent.

As part of its clamp down, the city council is expected to cut the number of scooters available to rent by almost 70 percent by imposing a limit of 8,000. 

Rental companies will have to apply for their share of the scooters under the rule change proposed by The Agency for Urban Environment. 

In addition to this, rental scooters will be picked up and dropped off in designated areas, similar to how city bikes in Oslo are used. 

Curfews on when users can rent scooters were announced on Tuesday ahead of the shake-up. From August, rentals will be closed at night between 11pm to 5 am. 

READ MORE: Sharp increase in e-scooter accidents in Oslo leads to calls for stricter rules

Some rental services had already introduced curfews at weekends after Oslo University Hospital said that people involved in scooter accidents accounted for around 30 percent of all patients in the accident and emergency department at the hospital. 

The hospital claimed most patients came in during the evening at weekends, with around half having alcohol in their system. 

The city council will discuss the new measures on Tuesday with the potential changes coming into effect from August, according to Kongsteien. 

“We have the legal authority, which was passed in the Storting (Norwegian parliament) in June, and we have worked at speed with the regulations,” he told VG.

Rental companies and authorities in Oslo have been under pressure to regulate the use of scooters more thoroughly over the past two weeks after doctors from Oslo University Hospital hit out at how lax the rules are. 

Acting chief physician Angelina Sergeeva at Sunnaa’s Rehabilitation Hospital, where patients are transferred to following traumatic injuries, has said several factors make electric scooters more dangerous than, for example, a bike. 

“Major risk factors for getting a serious brain injury in electric accidents are that you do not wear a helmet and around half the injuries occur under the influence of alcohol when both judgment and balance are affected, and you drive at high speed,” Sergeeva told VG. 

The chief doctor also said that around one in three involved in electric scooter accidents suffers some form of head injury—these range from minor injuries up to the most severe traumatic injuries that can have life-changing effects. 

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Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

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